Finally, after 10 wonderful years, last year I sold my beautiful, 17’ kayak in order to buy a Hobie Mirage so I could fish and photograph with more stability. It was a great decision for what I have been able to do that I couldn’t with the old boat.

BUT, this year, I am older and less fit and am having trouble getting the boat onto my Forester. I have been lifting it alone because I paddle alone, in remote places sometimes and there is no one around to help load it onto my car. But it is more difficult every time I pick it up. It weighs 66lbs.

I have been searching for a suitable trailer that is stable, easily stored and affordable (under $1000).

Other than bulding one (not me-no skills), is there such a thing? If not, any suggestions? Thanks

Two I found


  • Big D

Dear trapmar,

Big D gave a good suggestion with the Harbor Freight trailer but if you plan on traveling any more than a couple of miles to lauch your boat I’d avoid the 8" wheels and move up to the version with the 12" wheels.

You can also look at craigslist for your area for a used small boat trailer. You can often find a servicable trailer for $ 150.00 to $ 200.00. Look for something for a 12 - 14’ boat.

You said you aren’t handy but I’m betting you could work a ratchet wrench and relocate the bunks so that they will support your kayak. If you buy a bracket and install a keel roller at the rear of the trailer you’ll have no trouble pushing your kayak onto the trailer either.

Lastly you can check for a new trailer for a small utility boat at your local motor boat dealer. I found a dealer near me in Harrisburg PA that has galvanized trailers for 12 - 14" boats brand new for $ 599.00. That’s a great price for something that is far superior to any of the small trailers marketed for canoes and kayaks.

You could easily build it into a trailer capable of handling 4 or more boats and still not have $ 1000.00 into it.


Tim Murphy

12" tires are cooler
But my canoe trailer has 8" tires and is fine at highway speed. I just do fairly frequent checks on the grease to be sure that it hasn’t overheated. So far so good. I squeeze a little extra in there from time to time just in case.

  • Big D

Thanks for your guidance.

I’m out there looking. Harbor Freight is a great option for a new trailer and I have found a few trailers but haven’t gotte any reply from the sellers. Thanks. The members here are always so helpful. Ray

Trailex all aluminum, SUT-200-S Ultra Light Duty Single. $899 at Cabelas. Great trailer , I had one for 5 years. Sold the 85# canoe and the trailer with it. Don’t second guess the recommended tire pressure they give you. Some bearing buddies are also a good investment for any trailer. Good luck, hope this helps.

About that Trailex

– Last Updated: Aug-20-11 9:10 PM EST –

Dear 3bear,

Does that trailer have a license plate bracket with it?

Every picture I've seen of it doesn't seem to show one and I'd need to have a license plate bracket on it here in PA.

Also, have you ever trailered a canoe a couple of hundred miles with it, if so how did it work?

I ask because today I bought a used Nova Craft Prospector that I'd like to take to NH from PA. I have a full sized 8 foot bed pick up with a hi-rise cap and I brought it home in the bed but I don't want to drive 450 miles with the tailgate down and cargo in the bed unsecured.

In meantime I'm still looking for a good deal on a 12-14' boat trailer that I can adapt for canoe use but if you give a good report on the Trailex SUT-200 I just might spring for it.


Tim Murphy

goobs, I can’t say enough good things about the Trailex SUT-200. I made a trip from FL to CT with no problems. Bearing buddies will let you know to add grease long before you need to and are water proof. It does have a license plate bracket. I added a bike flag at the rear of the trailer so I could see it better from my truck mirror, it is narrow and low behind a vehicle. You can move the axle around for balance, thier instruction for axle placement was perfect the my use.

Keep the open side up :~)

Dear 3Bear,

Thanks for the endorsement of the Trailex, if it went from FL to CT I imagine it will go from PA to NH without any trouble.

If I can’t find a nice used boat trailer to rig up by Spring I’ll probably wind up getting a Trailex.

Good idea on the bicycle flag too, I know what a PITA it is to work with a low trailer that can’t be seen in your mirrors.



Portage Pal
In surfing around the web tonight I saw a trailer called the “Portage Pal” which may be what you need.

  • Big D

Lots of dedicated kayak trailers
I put this list together a while ago but have not yet gone any further.


Castle Craft http://www.castlecraft.com/kayak_dual.htm

Magenta Trailer http://www.magnetatrailers.com

Malone Trailer http://www.maloneautoracks.com/sport-trailers.php

Slick Rydr http://www.slickrydr.com/

Small Car Solutions http://www.smallcarsolutions.com/

Sports Rig http://www.sportsrig.com/

Sports Trailer http://www.sportstrailers.com/

Trailex http://www.trailex.com/

Yakima Rack and Roll http://www.yakima.com/shop/trailers/trailer

Kayak Trailer
I purchased a trailer for my kayak from Hergerts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The price was $785. A little more for a wiring adapter and the wheel for the front of the trailer. About $900 total with tax. I love mine.

1 idea
Find a used boat trailer. There is always a lot near a boat club, where some boaters store there trailer. some even sell. It wouldn’t take much to set it up for your kayak.

I have used a magenta trailer for over 10 years with good success on the highway. On logging roads headed to some remote lake the suspension makes the trailer bounce.

If I had it to do over again, I would buy a used boat trailer, or better yet a homemade pick-up box utility trailer and modify it. Then you have large tires, storage space, weight so it doesn’t bounce and room for 4 boats.

The OP has a Subaru Forester, and…

– Last Updated: Feb-05-14 1:14 PM EST –

... a trailer made from the back half of a pickup truck would be a really bad choice for him. Even the empty trailer would be too heavy for that car to pull. A small boat trailer, modified to carry paddle craft is a good starting point though.

To me, the best way to make a boat trailer not bounce badly is to install extra-light springs. Simply opting for a trailer that's big and heavy would be counterproductive for most people. Of course, if you have a use for a trailer that can carry 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, besides just carrying a couple small boats, that's different.